The GVI under 18s volunteer trip to Luang Praband Laos was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. As a part of the trip, cultural immersion was a big focus, aside from doing some touristy things like Kuang Si waterfall, we also got to learn and involve ourselves in authentic Lao culture. We were fascinated to learn about Buddhism and walk through all the temples as well as ask any questions we had to novice monks. We got to experience the lives of many Lao people when we camped overnight at a rice farm, partaking in the process of growing rice, right from ploughing with the buffalo to cooking rice noodles we experienced the whole process. Another highlight was the cooking class we attended in which we learnt some amazing Lao dishes and got all the recipes to take home. Working with the children teaching English was so inspiring as we met the most motivated and driven people who were aspiring for a better future by learning English. We had to plan workshops for each of the days we were teaching which taught us all some valuable life skills, including that things don't always go to plan.
Finally, the other volunteers were amazing and I found some likeminded people I am so glad to call my friends, despite coming from all over the world we all had similar ideas of what we wanted to get out of the program and we bonded immediately. The group leaders were incredible and sparked a lot of great and thought-provoking conversation, as well as just really fun to hang out with. And if that isn't enough of a reason for you to book a trip, the landscape is breathtaking!
Whilst we were away for two weeks we were kept so busy with different activities we had no time to miss home. I would strongly recommend this trip and GVI as a whole, I can't wait for my next trip!